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Joe Mason: Talented Trotter or Tripe n'Trotter?

Former Plymouth Argyle striker returns to his parent club - so what was the point of his time with us then?

Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

And so it came to be at 1.29pm UK time today, this historic 21st January 2015, Bolton Wanderers officially announced that on-loan Cardiff City forward Joe Mason had returned to his parent club following the mutually agreed ending of his loan spell:

Mason had been on loan at the Reebok since the start of the season, but had failed to get into the side since his boyfriend was sacked in October 2014.

Probably a bit mean saying that. I retract it.

Mason had been on loan at the Reebok since the start of the season, but had failed to get into the side since Dougie Freedman was sacked in October 2014. That's better.

A frustrating player, Mason divided opinion between those who appreciated his effort and graft, and those who thought that he was a bit of a weed, and a bit bobbins.

The first of loan spells lasted eight games without Mason bothering the scorers. Bizarrely the record books have attributed an own goal to the 22 year old striker. He rejoined the club on loan for a second spell which was slightly more productive, as his previous goals to games ratio improved from 0:8 to 1 in 4.

Mason was re-signed by Freedman at the start of this present season, and the lad was handed the #9 shirt. Again his strike record improved, with him scoring a goal every 2.75 games. He also hit the club's first hat-trick in donkey's years against Rotherham. Interestingly, if you take this hat-trick out of the equation his ratio changes to a goal every 11 games. So it's a bit pointless really.

This trouble with Mason was that his spell was all a bit forgettable. With this in mind, was he tripe or talent?

For me he was tripe. Mason was a poor target man - this was never his role, which beggars belief seeing as Dougie the wise chose to utilise him in that role in the first loan spell of his Bolton career. Admittedly he was much improved when paired with Middlesbrough lummox Lukas Jutkiewicz doing the donkey work on Mason's behalf.

A talented finisher, but often found wanting when it came to the technical aspects of the game - I suspect that Mason's time at Cardiff may not be the longest and that a spell in the lower league awaits. His need to have someone else put in the hard yards may see him flourish.

He scored some neat and some important goals for Bolton, and a total of 10 strikes in 30 games is not shabby at all, but there was always something about Mason that didn't sit right with a lot of Bolton fans. He often looked out of his depth and was never 'quite' the striker that we expected him to be.

Of course we wish him luck going forward and thank him for his efforts at Bolton Wanderers.